Monday, October 24, 2011

Art, Improving the Quality of Life

I am sharing this post both here and on my Sioux Falls Photo blog.

It is widely accepted that art enriches both the lives of the artist and the lives of those that are exposed to the art.
  • Imagine if you would slipping away from the noise of the city and the demands of everyday life to spend a long lunch in quiet solitude, meditating or just contemplating the beauty around you. 
  • Imagine the sense of accomplishment in learning a new skill. 
  • Imagine the joy and laughter that can be found in listening to a musical or theatrical performance. 
  • Imagine the pride and boost in self esteem of a child returning from their first time at camp. 
Music, poetry/literature, visual and preforming arts all provide both the artist and the individual exposed to the art with a means of emotional release and enrichment, which in turn improves the overall quality of life for both. 

As one of the top 100 places to live (according to RelocateAmerica) and 2nd on Forbes' list of best places for business and careers Sioux Falls obviously understands that lives are enriched through exposure to all forms of artistic endeavors.  A cursory look at the many cultural and artistic attractions makes it is easy to see the community's drive for artistic excellence. Yet since the closing of the Horse Barn Arts Center earlier this year venues for emerging artists are virtually non existent.

To meet this need The Retreat at Pointer's Ridge a non-profit arts organization is proposing the development of the regions first artist's retreat. "The Retreat at Pointer's Ridge offers a unique gathering place designed to stimulate imagination for individuals and organizations seeking to improve outcomes in life, health and commerce through artistic expression" *
This river creates one border of the property
Today I had the privilege of touring the proposed site for the retreat which is located less than fifteen minutes north of Sioux Falls. It was very exciting to see the potential this site has to offer. Nestled in a wooded area adjacent to the river this location offers a peaceful setting away from the distractions of the city in which to pursue and develop artistic talents. This former Jaycee Camp although overgrown and run down still holds a great amount of charm, beauty and potential.
Here is the A-frame and a view of the cabins, behind which are the woods.
With the renovation of the existing facilities the retreat will have eight cabins for overnight stays, an A-frame with loft and a large central lodge with fireplace, piano, restrooms, showers and a commercial kitchen as well as other amenities. In addition to these some of the improvements they hope to add are a contemplation garden, hiking trails, outdoor fire pit and playground.
Just past the cabins and to the right of the central meeting hall is this small playground area

Although they look small the cabins will easily sleep 4 to 6 campers
These photos show only a small portion of the 23 acre site which sits on a gently slopping hillside. I was happy to hear that there are plans to restore the many wall panels in the main lodge which contain artwork by staff and visitors from the 30 years it was in operation by the Jaycee's. Unfortunately I didn't take my tripod with me so the photos I took inside the lodge were blurry.  To learn more about the vision and plans for the artist's retreat please visit The Retreat at Pointer's Ridge on Facebook.

* Excerpt from The Retreat at Pointer's Ridge mission statement.

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